Two manufacturers with new BS6 models had a good month, though.
In the run up to the April 2020 BSVI emissions compliance deadline, India’s motorcycle market was already struggling a bit. It’s still a major world force, but adding in the disruption that COVID-19 shutdowns in China have caused for motorcycle and automobile manufacturers alike makes it no surprise that overall, industry numbers are still down heading into March.
Royal Enfield and Suzuki have so far been the only two manufacturers in India to report sales growth in February of around two percent year on year. India’s biggest manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp, reported a 19 percent drop for February 2020 versus the same month in 2019.
“The ongoing COVID-19 issue had adversely impacted production at the manufacturing facilities of Hero MotoCorp in the month of February. Since then, substantial progress has been made in developing alternative sources for procuring components. Meanwhile, the component makers in China, having restarted production, are also expected to resume normal supplies soon,” Hero MotoCorp told the Hindu BusinessLine.
Bajaj and TVS reported 21 percent and 27 percent declines respectively for February 2020. According to the latest World Health Organization COVID-19 Situation Report dated March 3, 2020, India itself has not reported major virus activity in the population. However, it’s easy to see that since many manufacturers rely on supply chains that stretch into China, the industry impact is still very real.
There’s no telling how this situation develops from here, since no one can predict with any accuracy what effects this virus will continue to have on supply chains, the global economy, and people worldwide. With more BSVI-compliant motorbikes coming to market in India, hopefully sales will pick up on that front.
Suzuki unveiled its new BS6 lineup at Auto Expo 2020 and also started sales of its BS6-compliant Burgman Street scooter during February, which may have contributed to its sales growth. Royal Enfield also recently launched its BS6-compliant Himalayan and Classic 350 models. The fact that both companies had modest sales increases in February is encouraging, and may perhaps signify that sales will similarly start to go back up for other manufacturers as they launch their new BS6 models, as well.